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Take a moment; ponder the greatness of the God that created all that exists. What He does and how He interacts in the lives of men.                                                                 
 
Time is Precious, Timing is Everything

By Terry Trudel

Beginning in Matthew 26:6 the narrative informs of a time shortly before his crucifixion when Jesus was staying in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper. A woman came to Jesus with a very expensive flask of perfume and poured it over his head as he “reclined at table”. When the disciples observed this they were “indignant” wondering what was the purpose for doing this? They also objected that the perfume might have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus came to the defense of this woman saying “Why do you bother the woman? She has done a noble (praiseworthy and beautiful) thing to me. For you always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this perfume on my body she has done something to prepare Me for My burial.”

In Matthew Henry’s commentary on these passages he makes the observation that opportunities for “doing and getting good” are divided by time into two categories: 1)opportunities which are constant and always with us…such as providing assistance to the poor, 2)opportunities for “doing and getting good which come seldom, which are short and uncertain” and which require a special diligence to be aware and act in such a way as to not waste the opportunity. Preparing Jesus for His burial was such an opportunity.

Now, here, in Port Angeles we have an opportunity for “doing and getting good” in our school system which is to stop the practice of allowing transgender boys in the restrooms, locker rooms, and showers of our girls and vice versa. This practice of allowing boys and girls to mix in bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers has only been a school policy and procedure for a few months. Over time it will have multiple adverse impacts: destroying modesty, providing opportunity for jokes and ridicule, interfering with privacy, and creating an unsafe environment…especially for girls. It will pave the way for casual sex and sexual experimentation in the later grades. It shows a lack of sensitivity and concern for the population of students, male and female, who have been sexually abused in some way and whose sexual trauma can be stimulated by seeing the biological opposite sex naked.

In Ephesians 5:15-17, Paul writes “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible intelligent people), making the most of the time, [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” Other translations refer to this as “redeeming the time”. Notice there is a cost involved when you are “buying up each opportunity”. Each person has 24 hours each day. Each person chooses how they spend their time. Are you willing to spend some of your time buying this opportunity to intervene on behalf of our children?

What can we Do?

Options- 1.) In regard to: Implementation of the policy mandated by Obama’s executive order. We are opposed to this as it is not consistent with longstanding cultural values of privacy and safety.

2.) In regard to: Mandating that all students use the bathroom and locker room facilities that correspond to their biological sex. We do not think this is the best solution as it does not recognize the unique status of transgender students.

3.) We feel the best solution is: to provide a separate bathroom/locker room facility for transgender students.

Actions-
1.)
Write the school superintendent and all school board members asking them to change their existing policy's and procedures which allows transgender students to use the facility that corresponds to their stated gender identiy.

2.) Attend School board meeting and express your dissatisfaction with the current policy and procedure.

3.) Speak to your pastor about alerting members of your congregation to this issue. Let us be salt and light in our community.

4.) Pray for resolution of this issue through discussion and recognition of its complex nature and for meeting the need of all students

5.) Consider conducting prayer walks at our schools and the school administration building on fourth street.

6.) familiarize yourself by reviewing the information on transgender / homosexual issues on this website... click on our New's, media, and research pages for articles, videos and resources.

Responsibility: We all share the responsibility for our culture and what we leave for future generations. When the culture is determined by a small number of people so that safety and privacy are at risk.. we need to speak up so our voices can be heard.

 

 

 

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The Demise of Truth              

By Terry Trudel

  Truth is not an easy subject to write about because there is a profound lack of agreement about what constitutes the truth. However this has not always been the case, and even today the church, that is the body of Christ, generally agrees that Christ represents the truth. At the time of founding the colonies that became the United States, a majority of citizens accepted the word of God to represent the truth. Over the last three hundred years the body of believers has grown smaller and the body of skeptics has grown much larger…so at present a majority of citizens do not accept the word of God to represent the truth. This is reflected in decisions by state supreme courts and the US Supreme Court re: gay marriage, bathroom privacy laws, redefinition of the word discrimination etc. all of which has happened in the relatively short period time of the last two to three decades. However 160 years ago Abraham Lincoln noted (1857) re: the Dred Scott Decision that the supreme court had often overruled its own decisions and “we shall do what we can to overrule this” (in the Dred Scott decision the US Supreme Court allowed extension of slavery into the territories of the United States stating that ”a slave was property, and the law of a territory could not take away (his) property” ).
     The demise of truth began in the Garden of Eden when the serpent denied the truth of God and said to the woman “You shall not surely die. For God knows in the day that you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity” (Genesis 3:4-5). Universal rebellion against the word of God began the moment Adam ate of the fruit…and has been waxing and waning since. The apostle Paul has this to say about events in the Garden, “But {now} I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from whole hearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ”(II Corinthians 11:3).
     Fast forward to the twentieth century and the advent of postmodern thinking… a principle tenet of which is that there is no absolute truth. This was initially taught in universities but gradually trickled down to high schools and more recently grade schools. When our children hear this over and over year after year from people they admire they become indoctrinated to a lie. There are several lies currently in vogue. One is that our little children should begin to think about sex and gender issues in the lower grades and experiment sexually in Junior High and High school to discover their true gender. Little children should be allowed to enjoy their innocence and be little children. It is not wise to force the acceleration of their development. Another lie is that sexual experimentation and promiscuity leads to healthy interpersonal relationships. It leads to separation from God, low self esteem in young women, insensitivity in young men, and difficulty having long term successful relationships in both sexes. It contributes to divorce in the middle decades of life. A third lie is that LGBT individuals are “born that way”. There is no science that supports this view. In the book of Romans, verses 17-32, the apostle Paul describes the process that leads to gay and lesbian lust (Romans 1:26-28). Lust is confused with love. It is a choice…although often an unconscious choice (Jeremiah 17:9). Lust satisfies the flesh briefly (Romans 8:1-38) but it separates people from god so it is not capable of building people up to the likeness ofChrist (I Corinthians 8:1, Ephesians 11-25).
     We learn from meditating on these scriptures that god’s truth about His plan for expression of sexuality is contrary to what the world teaches. In Matthew Henry’s commentary on Matthew Chapter 27:1-10 he notes “Those who measure actions by the (apparent) consequences of them rather than by the divine law, will find themselves mistaken in their measures”. The apparent consequences of forcing sexual development, encouraging gender experimentation and sexual promiscuity, providing prescriptions for contraception, making referrals available for abortion, and devaluing privacy in bathrooms and showers…those consequences are not easily measured. However observation in a clinical setting reveals they lead to low self esteem, depression, and anxious turmoil in relationships. They are the seeds that mature into hopeless sorrow (II Corinthians 7:8-10) that is assuaged with various drugs from marijuana to heroin and may end in suicide. Let us make decisions that give our children a chance to lead a more abundant life (John10:10).
     What can you do? Please refer to the devotion (Time is Precious).
N.B. All scriptural references are from the Amplified Bible

 

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Intimacy with Evil
By Terry Trudel
     A young social worker had been invited to speak at our mental health clinic on the topic of sexual abuse. She was talking about rape and made this comment “ Rape of a woman has nothing to do with intimacy”. I stopped listening to her presentation because this assertion grabbed my attention. Was it true that rape had nothing to do with intimacy? Rape, a form of sexual abuse, can occur at any age from infancy to advanced age. Abuse of any kind has three characteristics in common: 1)abuse occurs in relationships of two or more people, 2) one person exercises most of the power in the relationship, 3) the person who has this power uses it to gratify himself without considering how it will affect the person who is being abused. This question haunted me the rest of that day…by the end of the day I concluded that rape has a great deal to do with intimacy. But not a healthy intimacy…rather it relates to having an intimate encounter with evil. This was a topic for which I never had training in medicine, psychology, or psychiatric residency. The question before us is “how does the power of evil change a person during an intimate encounter?” This was a long devotion to write in answering this question…and a long one to read. Bear with me, please. It gets more interesting at the end.
     There are many examples of intimacy with evil from the Holy Bible…this devotion will examine only one scenario from the Old Testament…it is sufficient to learn what we need to know.
     This is the account of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-24). It is the history of man’s first intimate encounter with evil. The account can be divided into 15 parts. Each part of the whole reveals lessons about how encountering evil oppresses our soul.  These verses start with a warning in verse one “The serpent was more crafty and subtle than any other creature of the field that the Lord God had made”. Then, in rapid sequence, we have 1)the serpent planting thoughts/doubt in the mind of the woman challenging the rule of God and producing confusion about His instructions, 2) the woman’s disobedience , 3) Adam standing by and doing nothing while watching the woman disobey, 4) Adam’s disobedience(sin), 5) The opening of their eyes to good and evil and blessing and calamity resulting in Adam and the woman covering themselves with fig leaves and hiding from God in the trees, 6) God’s call to Adam, 7) God’s inquiry to Adam and Adam’s response, 8) God’s inquiry to the woman and her response,  9) the consequences for the serpent, 10) consequences for the woman, 11) consequences for Adam, 12) God’s covering for them, 13) Adam giving the woman a new name, 14) consequences for them as a couple. This study focuses primarily on the implications of the question above…the impact of intimacy with evil. It is not intended to be an exhaustive study of all the theological issues associated with these verses. What do we learn?
The impact of intimacy with evil:

The Warning: Through the Word of God we are instructed on how we should find our way through our life on this earth. This is reflected in tradition that early in church history Christianity was known as “The Way”. The bible contains verse after verse with instruction and warning about disobeying. This is summarized in Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the [whole] person; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

1)The serpent planting thoughts: Satan is able to put thoughts into our minds through external strategies/temptations and through our own sin nature( Matthew 16:21-23, Luke 22:3-6, John 13:27, I Corinthians 2:14).) The battle for our souls is fought in the mind. No person, not one, is able to overcome the craftiness and cunning of Satan through his own efforts. Everyone is conformed by the world but the apostle Paul entreats us to “be transformed by the renewal of our mind” by “presenting” our “members and faculties” as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2).

2) The woman’s disobedience: When we are confused about the word of God or reject it we are prone to disobedience.

3) Adam’s passivity:  Adam was not deceived by the woman’s confusion and disobedience, but he stood there passively doing nothing to prevent it (I Timothy 2:14). After he ate of the fruit, passivity to the teachings of God became part of the natural man’s resistance to God.

4) Adam’s disobedience: At the precise moment Adam ate the fruit sin came into both Adam and the woman. This is the point of origin of our sin nature. It includes confusion or doubt about the word of God, disobedience, passivity, and the following emotions: guilt, shame, fear, hurt, sadness,  disappointment, and anger. These were all unexpected “gifts’ from Satan…as well as now being separated from God. These changes occurred simultaneously with their eyes being opened.

5) Opening their eyes: Recognizing their disobedience, now knowing good from evil, and having lost their innocence, they attempted to hide from God in the trees and hide their sin by covering themselves with fig leaves. These behaviors were generated by confusion, guilt, shame, and fear.

6) God’s call to Adam: God constantly wants to be in relationship with us. He is very creative in the ways he communicates this to us.

7) God’s inquiry to Adam: Asking about Adam’s whereabouts was apparently for Adam’s benefit as God certainly knew he was hiding. It is indicative of how gentle God is when addressing our disobedience. When Adam responded that he was “afraid” because he was naked God asked “Who told you were naked?” Adam was apparently unable to answer this question. This is a question for the ages. My speculation is this is a thought that Satan put in his mind.  There were only four characters in this narrative; God, Satan, Adam, and the woman. Because of Satan’s character (he is known as the accuser) Satan was certainly responsible for this thought…being in Adam’s mind. But Adam camped out on this thought and he refused to take responsibility for his thinking or his behavior…shifting the responsibility to God and the woman. This accusation must have been very hurtful to the woman and, to God. This is the first recorded incidence of conflict between Adam and the woman God gave him.

8)God’s Inquiry to Eve: “What is this you have done? The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate”. Here we have the basis for all disobedience/sin which is deception. Satan is the father of all lies (John 8:38-45).

9) God’s curse on the serpent: Apparently Satan disguised himself as a serpent…or a serpent co-operated with Satan in allowing him to assume the form of a snake. I favor the latter interpretation because the curse seems to be on the snake (Genesis 3:14), but in verse 15 God seems to be referring to the offspring of Satan and the offspring of the woman, i.e. Jesus who came through the lineage of King David…so multiple levels of interpretation may be possible.

10) Consequences for the woman: Increased suffering during childbirth and yet persistent “desire and craving for your husband.” This begs the question of the relationship between suffering during childbirth and the manner in which she was disobedient. I am unable to discern how those two events are related. This suggests that consequences for sin fall into two categories: 1) Universal consequences such as being separated from God, and 2) Specific consequences, i.e. increased suffering during child birth. If this interpretation is correct it is not possible to predict what the specific consequence/s will be to a particular sin.

11) Consequences for Adam: Increased difficulty accomplishing the work to feed and support his family. Again the connection between his disobedient behavior and the consequence is difficult to understand. What this seems to have in common with # 10 above is that their roles in life will be more stressful and  futile at times.

12) God’s covering for Adam and the woman: The fig leaves that Adam and the woman sewed together were not an adequate covering in the eyes of God. He gave them a new covering made of skins. There is nothing we can do to cover our sins…ultimately they have been covered with the Blood of Jesus Christ through his suffering on the cross.

13) A new name for the woman: A name reflecting her role as life giver…initially manifested in the births of Cain and Able, but eventually manifested through the birth of Jesus.

14) Consequences applied to them as a couple: Expulsion from the garden.

Summary: We have confusion about the instructions/teaching of God, disobedience/sin, separation from God, thinking and behavior contrary to the word of God, a flood of new emotions, the loss of a perfect relationship with God and each other, loss of innocence, and loss of the best piece of real estate in the history of the world. How do Adam and Eve cope with all of this? The Biblical account is silent on the question of how Adam and Eve coped. But there are many other accounts in the Old and New Testaments that document the pattern noted above…and observation indicates this pattern continues to distort relationships to this very day. Gay and lesbian relationships are only one example of this. But Before we look at LGBT relationships let’s use our imagination and consider how sin affected Adam and Eve. I think their conversation might have been something like this when they found themselves outside the garden: 
Adam to Eve, “I told you not to go anywhere near that special tree. You were forbidden to touch it and you just had to have some of that infernal fruit, didn’t you?”
               
 Eve to Adam, “You were supposed to protect me and you just stood there like a bump on a log when that snake came along and smooth-talked me. You said if we hid in the bushes that God wouldn’t find us. Well….He did find us and please notice who he called for.  I believe it was Adam he was looking for…not me. Those bushes were prickly and I got dirt all over me when I was hiding under them.
     And I can’t believe that you had the nerve to blame this whole mess on God…for creating me as a companion for you. Do you think God really believed that for a second? I’m the best thing that ever happened to you and you know it”.  “And now we have to wear these skins that are hot and sweaty. I don’t like the way they look. They don’t flatter me at all. This is all your fault! In the morning I want you to look around and see what else you can use to make clothing. I’m certainly not going to wear these skins for the rest of my life! You can at least take off the fir and tan the hide. Right now I’m really hungry! Do you suppose you could find something for us to eat”?
   
     This is one way sin manifests itself…In disobedience, distorted relationships and marital conflict. I suspect the above conversation would not have taken place in an atmosphere of peace and harmony but rather anger to be the emotion that prevailed over this discussion. They would have been surprised or even shocked at their anger since they had not experienced it previously. Confusion, guilt, shame, hurt, fear, sadness, and disappointment may have been part of this experience after they reflected on their behavior during their exchange of perceptions.
     How do these lessons from the garden relate to the development of LGBT gender identity and sexual orientation? It is actually fairly straightforward although there is a complex interplay between cognitive, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and physiological processes. It starts with an experience in which the rules of God for sexual expression are contradicted in some fashion. This might occur during rape, sexual molestation, having a weak or absent father, a dominant
mother, or a grade school class where children are taught to masturbate and experiment with gay and lesbian relationships. There are many and highly variable paths to confusion about sexuality. Confusion alone is not sufficient to change sexual identity and orientation. There also has to be same sexual experiences or transgender experiences which are associated with sexual pleasure.
Sexual pleasure reinforces the thought of having a different gender other than one’s biological sex assigned at birth. The more you entertain the thought  of being homosexual or transgender , the more fantasies you have about that, and the more sexual experiences you have associated with sexual pleasure in homosexual or transgender relationships, the stronger that identity and orientation grow within you. Paul describes this process in Romans 6:16 where he writes “Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourself to anyone to do his will , you are the slave of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with god)? Paul’s words remind us that knowledge of God’s word and obedience to it protects us from the power of sin resulting from intimacy with evil. Eventually when these homosexual or transgender thoughts, fantasies, and behaviors persist there are changes in the neurochemistry of the brain which generate the slavery Paul describes. This understanding absolutely refutes the claim made by the LGBT community that they are born that way. However observation suggests that processes that contribute to the development of a homosexual or transgender lifestyle often occurs largely at a subconscious level (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore homosexual and transgender individuals frequently do not recall the many “micro decisions” that lead to their sexual identity and orientation.
     This same pattern (confusion, disobedience, separation from God, flood of emotion, and slavery to sin) is evident in many other maladies of mental health . Sexual promiscuity leads to anxiety and depression, abortion leads to depression, sexual molestation and abuse leads to anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder, the emotions of guilt, shame, fear, hurt, disappointment, and sadness lead to mood altering behavior through use of alcohol and street drugs, mood altering leads to opioid addiction, opioid addiction leads to accidental death and suicide…the consequences of sin/disobedience go on, and …on and …….on!
     Christ, through Paul, provides a solution to all this, Romans 6:17-23 of which I will only quote verses 17, “But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed”  and verse 19, “I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.” I can only say “thanks be to God”.
NB Scriptures quoted are from the Amplified Bible


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                                                                             Eclipse of the Mind                                             9/14/2014                                                                                                                      

     During the recent total eclipse of the sun the moon appeared to be the same size as the sun. This was

explained by the sun being 400 times farther away and also being 400 times larger than the moon

appears. This was described as a stroke of cosmic luck.

     The maternal human egg is the size of a grain of sand. After fertilization by a single sperm and 40

weeks of growth a baby has grown to a length of 18 to twenty inches and the weight of 6 to 8 pounds.

Neither of these phenomena is a stroke of cosmic luck. They are evidence of a creator who assigned the

orbits and size of the heavenly bodies and spoke into existence the time allotted for gestation and fetal

development. These are supernatural events we call miracles.

     The human heart is darkened when we fail to consider the miracles of God. Disobedience to the word

 of God covers our heart with more darkness. The mind becomes closed to light. Eclipse of the mind is

often total. There is no longer sufficient illumination to recognize life in the womb.

     Passivity in the church to issues such as this adds to the darkness. When darkness covers the church it

ceases to be salt and light.

No eclipse should be permanent. We all need light to guide us into the way pf peace. What God has

joined together to create life no man should tear apart.

     For more information click on media on this website, open Stephanie Gray’s

presentation on “Abortion, from Controversy to Civility”.http://www.roarpa.org/media-news

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